by Lisa Tome
Sgt. Bryan Martin was proud of the workers he was overseeing recently.
The six crewmen made quick work of clearing debris from Marina Park in Port Deposit.
"They love coming out. I try to pick good ones and most of them volunteered to come. It's no problem getting them to come out," said Martin.
For 21 years, Sgt. Martin has worked at the Cecil County Detention Center. Last week he was supervising those who were readying the park. "We help at churches and the Help Center. Major (Barry) Janney has us out working just about every day cleaning roads," said Martin. He said the crew worked at a church recently, helping a senior citizen population make their church grounds look better.
The inmates, all of whom are identified only by age and hometown, used rakes, shovels, and a pitchfork, to clear twigs, sticks, and logs.
An inmate, age 27, who hails from Philadelphia, works as a roofer. "This is easier than roofing. People come to parks to do drugs. I want to make sure that kids who come here don't get hurt. I want to keep kids safe," he said.
"This work isn't bad. It gets me out of jail and gives me something to do. I volunteered to come," said the inmate, 27, of North East.
The inmates stated that not all of them were in jail due to a drug problem. "Being out here keeps me motivated and keeps my head straight. I'm not getting paid but I'm a hard worker," said the inmate, 24, of Elkton.
One of the inmates said that last week's nice weather was a great incentive. "It's nice to get out. It's better than being cooped up. I like the fresh air and sunshine and being on the water," said the inmate, 27, of Elkton. "I try to take pride in whatever I do. This gives me a sense of accomplishment."
Martin said that anyone who is interested in having a detention center work crew should contact Lt. Carr at 410-996-5811.
Port Deposit town administrator Vicky Rinkerman said that having detention center crews cleaning the park was important. The town is in the process of hiring a public works employee. Town of Port Deposit finance manager Ted Sookiasian said as a treat, the town was buying pizza for the workers who were scheduled to be in the park from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. "As a courtesy, we are providing lunch," said Sookiasian.